Aquitaine is a gorgeous region to visit in southwestern France. It is one of the most diverse regions in France, boasting of long Atlantic beaches, multitudes of beautiful landscapes, and home to the famous cities of Biarritz and Bordeaux. It has a lovely countryside filled with medieval castles, beautiful wooded valleys, and several antiquated villages. All these paint the picture of a versatile region bound to capture anyone’s imagination in a variety of ways. It also means that there is so much to see and so many things to do in Aquitaine, and it is a visit that every travel enthusiast should look forward to. Make Aquitaine your next destination, and consider the following as your priority attractions for a fulfilling and memorable visit. Here are our suggestions for the best things to do in Aquitaine, France.
1. Have water adventures at Wakepark Izon
Wakepark Izon is located in a very idyllic environment, and it is a very nice choice for the adventurous folks who fancy thrills and don’t mind getting wet in the course of having fun. The main attractions in the park are the three bi-pulley lifts that help you glide through waves. You hold on to the pulleys while you are swiftly pulled through the water. It sounds scary at first, but after the few initial tries, the adrenaline will kick in and you will not want to let go the pulleys. Other than this, the park has a nice game section where you can enjoy a variety of games, including basketball, ping pong, badminton, and volleyball among others. Whether you are visiting alone, as a family or group of friends, lots and lots of adventure awaits you in this park.
Address: 96 Rue du Port, 33450 Izon, France
Website: Wakepark Izon
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
Price: From 25 USD
2. Marvel at the medieval architecture of Bonaguil Castle
Bonaguil Castle is a masterpiece of medieval architecture, and it remains one of the most beautiful fortified castles ever built in France. The castle was built in the 13th century, though modifications and extensions continued well into the 16th century. It will be remembered as the only fortress that was never a target of any military attack, despite it being constructed during a time when the region faced some of the fiercest wars ever in history. This can be attributed to its impeccable defense system that not only prevented attacks but also allowed retaliatory attacks to be launched from within the castle. A visit to the castle will take you back into the time of the knights and also learn about the medieval military strategies that were used to keep the castle and its occupants safe.
The Bonaguil Castle
Address: 47500 Saint-Front-sur-Lémance, France
Website: The Bonaguil Castle
Opening hours: 10am - 4:45pm (daily)
Price: From 11 USD
3. Enjoy family fun days at KID PARC Île d'Aventures
Are you visiting Aquitaine with kids, and looking for something fun for the little ones? Well, you will never disappoint the kids when you take them for a day of adventure in a theme park. While in Aquitaine, one of the best places for the little ones would be at KID PARC Île d'Aventures. It is a high quality theme park with lots of interesting games and activities that will be loved by kids of all ages. There is so much fun that awaits the kids on the pools, swings, slides, merry-go-rounds and the little train rides around the park.
KID PARC Île d'Aventures
Address: GM Bassin des Loisirs - 131 Route des Lacs - 33470 Gujan-Mestras
Website: KID PARC Île d'Aventures
Opening hours: Wed: 10:30am - 6:30pm; Sat - Sun: 10:30am - 6:30pm (Closed on Mon - Tue & Thu - Fri)
Price: From 13 USD
4. Admire wondrous cave art at Lascaux II
Un voyage unique, au cœur de l'humanité www.lascaux.frPosted by Lascaux on Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Lascaux is the most popular Stone Age cave art site in Europe, if not in the entire world. Lascaux II is a replica of Lascaux after the latter was shut down due to degradation that was occasioned by the throngs of visitors that frequented the place to admire the art. Though a replica, Lascaux II has incredible art that depicts a lot about the evolution of mankind, as well as the history of tool making. If you have any slightest interest in prehistoric art and you would love to appreciate the strides made by mankind over the years, then a visit to Lascaux II is a must.
Address: Lieu-dit Lascaux, 24290 MONTIGNAC
Website: Lascaux II
Opening hours: 10am - 12:30pm, 2pm - 6pm (daily)
Price: From 16 USD
5. Visit the most beautiful religious monument in Bordeaux, Bordeaux Cathedral
Visiting Cathedral of Saint Andrew of Bordeaux as our first stop. What an amazing architecture!Posted by The Upper Loft Indoor Golf on Friday, 27 April 2018
The cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Saint Andrew. The cathedral is not just an architectural beauty and a masterpiece that epitomizes 13th-century French Gothic architecture but also it has a rich history of being the wedding venues of some of Europe’s most elite rulers. For example, it was in this cathedral that Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII got married as well as Anne of Austria and Louis XIII.
Address: Place Pey Berland, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Opening hours: Mon: 3pm - 7:30pm; Tue - Sat: 10am - 1pm, 3pm - 7:30pm; Sun: 9:30am - 1pm, 3pm - 7:30pm
6. Delve into history at Musée d'Aquitaine
Learn about the history of Bordeaux and the neighboring regions at Museum Aquitaine. This is the largest French regional history museum you will find outside the capital. Its collection ranges from prehistory to the contemporary era, with it being the home to masterpieces such as the Venus of Laussel that dates back to 25,000 BC, Montaigne’s cenotaph ( dates back to the late 16th century), the treasure of Pauilhac (dates back to 3500BC), and “Heretics” drawings by Rodin Auguste among other treasures. You may opt for the self-guided tours with an audio guide or you can go for the guided tours with commentary.
Address: 20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Musée d'Aquitaine
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 6 USD
Visiting any region in France will never be complete without going for a full-blown wine tour and when you are in Aquitaine, then you have to check out this guided winery tour and wine tasting in Saint Emilion. The tour lasts for about one hour, during which you will tour two different wine estates – a traditional one and a modern one. The tours will take you through the process of wine making, with detailed explanations on how the process happens right from the vine to the bottle. As with any other wine tour, you will have a chance to sample several wines from the two estates and the entire Bordeaux region. Also worth mentioning are the pleasant panoramic views that you will enjoy of the estate and the region.
Saint Emilion: Guided Winery Tour & Wine Tasting
Duration: 1 hour
Beynac and Domme are considered among the most beautiful villages of France. Domme is a fortified medieval town and was once the home to a Knight Templar’s prison in 1307 during the Hundred Years’ War. The layout and design of Beynac make it completely different from most villages in France, and this is because its plan is trapezoidal, and not rectangular like most cities. Additionally, it is heavily fortified, and a visit will demonstrate to you the history and the depth of fortification that used to happen during medieval times. Beynac, on the other hand, is a tiny village with incredible beauty and history. The most notable attraction in this village is the castle built in the 12th century on top of a limestone cliff overlooking the banks of Dordogne River. The castle was constructed to seal off the valley and to discourage assaults from either side of the river. Boat rides and walking tours are your best bet of enjoying most of the attractions in these villages.
Beynac & Domme villages - Dordogne boat ride
Duration: 4 hour
Go on a full discovery of the magnificent Lascaux IV International Center of Parietal Art under the guidance of a Paleolithic art expert. The museum itself is a glorification of modern technology and unlike other cave visits you might have made before, this particular one features various sets of designs, interactive workshops, and state-of-the-art displays. You will experience a recreation of pre-historic caves, interactive gallery experiences, and a state-of-the-art facsimile cave that will unfold before your eyes all the wonders of Lascaux in the same way they were first seen.
Sarlat: Half-Day Skip-the-Line Lascaux IV Tour
Duration: 4 hour
Bike tours are a great strategy to cover lots of attractions in a relatively short time. With Bordeaux bike tours, you get an incredible chance to visit many attractions that you normally wouldn’t if you were on foot. It is the best way to experience all the charms the old city has to offer and also to discover the lots of gems hidden along the Garonne River. With bike tours, access to Saint-Andre Cathedral and other historical treasures will be a breeze, not forgetting the picturesque views you will be enjoying along the bike trails.
Bordeaux Essentials: 3-Hour Bike Ride
Duration: 3 hour
The city discovery tour is a nice way to discover Bordeaux uniquely and interactively by simply using your mobile phone. There are no guides to tell you what to look at, and it is entirely up to you how far you go with your discovery of the city. During the tour, you will solve riddles, with each correct answer will take you to a new location. You will also get to learn about the city’s history and the local culture in a fun way. At the end of the tour, you shall have traversed some of the city’s beautiful sights and also increased your knowledge about the city.
Bordeaux: City Discovery Game
Duration: 2 hour
The culinary diversity in Bordeaux is immense, and there is no better way to check it out than going for a tour of the old town and the food market. This is a guided tour that will take you on a discovery of local delights like the canelé pastries, cheese, foie gras, and the best Bordeaux chocolates. You will also have a chance to sample local specialties including chocolates from Bouchon de Bordeaux while you savor the wealth of local drinks, including a wide variety of wines.
Bordeaux Old Town & Market Local Food with Wine Tastings Tour
Duration: 3 hours
13. Savor classic fresh French cuisines at Le Bontemps
The beauty of French’s culinary diversity is never in doubt. At Le Bontemps, the cooking is elevated to a whole new level in the sense that they use only the freshest ingredients in their meals. They have a garden for their vegetables and most of their ingredients are sourced from local farms. The ambiance is great, with the interior donning simple white and brown colors. It is a real oasis if you are looking for the freshest meals in Aquitaine.
Address: 38 Avenue of Aquitaine, 24490 La Roche-Chalais, France
Website: Le Bontemps
Opening hours: Tue: 12pm - 1pm; Wed - Thu: 12pm - 1pm, 7:30pm - 8:30pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 1:30pm, 7:30pm - 9pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
14. Get a taste of Bordeaux nightlife at HMS Victory BDX
HMS Victory is a family-owned English pub located right at the heart of Bordeaux. It is nestled within the picturesque Victoire area and surrounded by a wide selection of restaurants. The pub opens until 2 am, and it is one of the best places to sample what the nights are like in Bordeaux. It is a lively place, known to be frequented by both locals and visitors, who not only come for the drinks but also to enjoy the great music and live performances and characterize the nights. With over 10 beers on draught and a humongous selection of bottled beer menu, cocktails, and shots, your glass will never run dry in this pub.
HMS Victory BDX
Address: 3 Place Général Sarrail, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: HMS Victory BDX
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 3pm - 2am; Sat: 1:30pm - 2am; Sun: 2pm - 12am
15. Watch a ballet performance at Grand Theater of Bordeaux
The Grand Theater of Bordeaux is decorated majestically in the colors of royalty – gold, white and blue. The theater is not just an 18th-century architectural marvel, but also has a rich history of hosting some of the most famous artists in France. It was on this theater that the ballet La Fille Mal Gardee premiered way back in 1789, and under its roof, the famous Marius Petipa performed some of his very first choreogrpahies. The theater usually holds lyrical and choreographed performances of exceptional quality, and with its team of designated permanent artists, you are likely to find a performance going down each day. Kindly check the official site for the schedule and the tickets.
Grand Theater of Bordeaux
Address: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Grand Theater of Bordeaux
16. See amazing exhibitions at Gallery of Fine Arts
The Gallery of Fine Arts is where you will find exhibitions by some of the biggest names in the European art scenes, including several renowned artists from Bordeaux from different periods in the past. Among the exhibits you will find on display include works by Pietro da Cortona, Velvet Brueghel, Van Goyen, Magnasco, Andre Lhote, and Odilon Redon. It is a must-visit if you wish to admire essential European art.
Gallery of Fine Arts
Address: 20 Cours d'Albret, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Gallery of Fine Arts
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 6pm (closed on Tue)
Price: From 6 USD
17. Be awed by the works at CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux
// VISITES FLASH // Jusqu'au 30 août, les mardis, mercredis, jeudis et vendredis, venez profiter de la fraîcheur du...Posted by CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux on Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Another museum worth checking out is the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux. The museum was opened 40 years ago with the main focus being on emerging art forms. It currently houses nearly 1,300 works by over 190 artists from France and around the region. The works present therein showcase a detailed look at the evolution of art in the past half a century and brings to light the new forms of contemporary art, as well as highlighting the difference in art between now and the past years.
CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux
Address: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Price: From 8 USD
Marbella Beach in Biarritz is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, and popularly known as the French capital of surfing. Whether or not you have ever surfed before, you have no reason to leave this place without trying the waves. There are professional instructors ready to teach you how to surf. Once you overcome your initial fears, you will get hooked on surfing on these waters, and you will understand why everyone usually wants to surf in Biarritz. However, note that lessons are offered only during low tides so you should be prompt with your timing.
Biarritz: 1.5-Hour Group Surf Lesson
Duration: 2 hour
Get a different perspective of the Bordeaux sites by going for a jet ski ride along the famous Garonne River. This guided tour will not only satisfy your adventurous spirit but also will lead you to Miroir d’eau – the world’s largest reflecting pool. This is in addition to enjoying the lovely sceneries of the historical sites, castles, and vineyards that Bordeaux has to offer.
Bordeaux: Guided Jet Ski Tour
Duration: 30 to 1 minute
This is 1-hour winery tour and wine tasting experience of an authentic family-owned winery in Bordeaux. During this tour, you will discover some vital secrets that make the region’s wines some of the best in the world, including an in-depth look at the history of wine making. A visit to the fermenting room will teach you more about the wine making process, while a visit to the barrel cellar will open your eyes to the concept of aging wine. The tour will culminate in tasting several types of wines produced by the winery and the region in general.
Soussans: Guided Winery Tour with Wine Tasting near Margaux
Duration: 1 hour
La Cite du Vin is located in the city of Bordeaux. It is a museum dedicated to wine as a culture and a universal living heritage. The tour covers a total of 19 exhibits where you will learn all there is to know about wines, given that Bordeaux is a major wine-producing region in the country. Other than the exhibits and the education, at the tail-end of the tour, you will have a wine tasting session where you will enjoy a glass of wine from a selection of 20 world wines. You are also bound to fall in love with the 360-degree panoramic views of Bordeaux and the surrounding areas that you will get on the 8th floor of the museum.
La Cité du Vin Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket & Wine Tasting
This Bordeaux river cruise is an hour-long cruise along the Garonne River and one that will lead you to a discovery of the treasures that exist along the UNESCO-listed waterfront. It is a great chance to soak in the beauty of the medieval structures along the river, and also learn more about the history of the Bordeaux as shall be narrated by the boat’s captain. You will also visit Pont d’Aquitaine and Pont Chaban Delmas which are some of the most famous landmarks in the city of Bordeaux.
Bordeaux River Cruise
How about spending two hours of your evening aboard a boat savoring both the meals and the views of Bordeaux? Well, this the experience that awaits you with the two-hour dinner cruise. Spend the evening cruising along Bordeaux’s UNESCO World Heritage waterfront while you relish a selection of French gourmet menus with samples of the finest wines from the region.
Bordeaux: 2-Hour River Dinner Cruise
Duration: Wheelchair accessible
Enjoy the beauty and rich history of Aquitaine
With so many things to do in Aquitaine, France, there is no justification why anyone should ever have a dull trip. The region is rich in history, has an impeccable culinary diversity, produces some of the best wines in the world, and is dotted with lots of masterpieces of medieval architecture. Keep this list of our suggestions of the best things to do and have the best time in Aquitaine, France.
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